Using social media correctly can be an important path to business success. Unfortunately, many virtual assistants make unnecessary mistakes that impact their business in a bad way. If you want to use social media positively, avoid making these business mistakes.

1. Mixing Personal and Business – This is a hot topic because many of us have a lifestyle business and life/work are intermingled. But, as a general rule, I like to keep personal and business separate as much as I possibly can. This mostly goes for my Facebook pages in which I have separate pages for Facebook – one for personal and others for both businesses. Many times, my VA colleagues will friend me so they’ll see my personal posts, but rarely will you find me posting personal information on my business pages. Your business social media pages aren’t the place to post about your dinner and your kid’s potty-habits. Also, I tend to avoid politics and religion (mostly because I’m a liberal-atheist-but-believe-in-law-of-attraction so I don’t have a lot to add to the discourse lol). However, I do post a lot about money because I don’t want it to be a taboo subject.

2. Arguing with Criticism – If someone leaves a nasty comment on your social media, the worst thing you can do is respond with the same attitude. If it’s spam, delete it. If it’s legitimate criticism, reply with help both publicly and personally. People are watching to see how you deal with it. You can gain new customers by responding positively.

3. Posting the Same Thing to Each Network – Each social media network is different and should be treated as a different platform. Create different types of blurbs promoting your content for each network, to fit in with that network’s personality and terms of service.

4. Creating an Incomplete Bio – Each network that you’re going to be part of needs a complete bio that uses the same information but presented in a new way. You want your audience to recognize your brand no matter where they see it, but you don’t want everything to look identical other than your logos and perhaps your profile picture.

5. Posting Too Often – You don’t want to seem like the street crier. Post information that’s important, that has a reason for being, and that has a call to action. But, avoid posting just for the sake of posting. Post more than once a day, but don’t post every five minutes. It’s a very thin balance that you’ll have to figure out based on feedback from your audience. This is where using software such as “Insights” comes in handy. Also, I use a scheduler to remain consistent so that I don’t post “too” often or “too” little.

6. Not Posting Enough – If you don’t post enough, they might forget about you. Most social networks control how your information is delivered, and some of the posts you make won’t go out to everyone unless you pay to promote.

7. Not Engaging with Your Followers – You don’t want to appear as if you’re a fake person or a bot. Respond and engage with your followers. When they comment, reply and when they ask a question, answer. If your social media pages are very busy, you may need to hire help to stay on top of it.

8. Not Targeting Your Followers Carefully – You don’t want just anyone to follow you on social media. Think of social media as a bit like an email list. You create information that is laser targeted toward your audience. That way no one else really wants the information.

9. Not Using Comments and Customer Info – When you read what your audience says on social media, it’s important to consider how you can use that information to improve your products and services. That information is like having a crystal ball if you pay attention.

10. Failing to Monitor Your Accounts – You can set up alerts on Google to send you an email anytime your company, product or niche is mentioned. This will enable you to ensure that you don’t miss anything important.

The biggest mistake of all is not using social media. You don’t have to be on every single network. Pick a couple that you know your audience uses, and focus most of your social media marketing on those networks.